— Page 45 (@PageFortyFive) February 10, 2014
A chance discovery via Twitter this morning (well not that much of a chance, I suppose, since I do follow Nottingham-based comic shop Page 45) sent me scurrying to check out Paul Duffield‘s The Firelight Isle, an ongoing web and print comic (or physidigicomic if you like) that’s being edited and published by David Fickling of David Fickling Books.
It’s an absolutely gorgeous looking comic evoking all the best of classic British comics, beautifully illustrated and, in its web form, taking full advantage of Scott McCloud’s “infinite canvas”, without over-employing the technique. The web site itself is, in my view, a masterclass in how to present a long form graphic novel online.
Oxford-based comic creator Paul Duffield describes The Firelight Isle as “a tale of coming of age, self-identity and cultural discovery, set in a fantastical civilisation gripped by a mysterious religion.” The story follows the lives of Sen and Anlil, two childhood friends about to be parted as they undergo the trials of adulthood, and take their first steps on a journey with an uncertain ending.
Written and drawn by Paul Duffield – comic creator, illustrator, designer and animator and partner of fellow comic creator, Kate Brown – the project is relatively new. “New episodes are very time-intensive to put together, and will be released as soon as they’re ready,” says Paul on the site. As you click through the strip, you’ll reach a “progress bar”page which indicates how much of the next episode is currently completed.
Reading the strip is, only half the fun of Firelight Isle, which is both a webcomic and a “making of” record, so every Friday is a Firelight Friday – if there’s no new episode, there’ll be a progress update on the site’s blog.
If you like your comics physical, you can also purchase Issue Zero from the Firelight Isle web shop – and there’s an option to buy Issue Zero with a sketch included for an additional price. And, of course, there’s bound to be a physical collection of the story at some point… but why wait that long to check it out? Off you scurry…
• Read The Firelight Isle at www.firelightisle.com
The Firelight Isle © Paul Duffield